Latitude Festival 2021 – the cinematic return of live music


Genre-defining headliners, the hottest breakthrough acts, diverse new talent and the return of live music. Latitude Festival 2021 is one for the history books.

Festivals have always been an escape from the ordinary; a break from reality. As the world began to unlock, a ‘return to normal’ for live music fans meant the return of festival season. Taking back our freedom and being reminded of how that freedom looks and sounds. Suddenly our hedonistic experience felt natural, an existence that has always belonged to us.

Wolf Alice. Credit: Festival Republic

When Wolf Alice returned from a four year hiatus with ‘The Last Man On Earth’ in February 2021, it was a moment. With their critically acclaimed cinematic third album ‘Blue Weekend’, the London band delivered a long-awaited dream headline performance.

Concept albums make for the best festival headline sets. A concept album is one that crafts its own imagery, creates a tone and conveys emotion. And that’s exactly what Wolf Alice have accomplished on Blue Weekend.

Meanwhile, well-placed anthems ‘Bros’, ‘Silk’ and ‘Giant Peach’ from 2015’s coming-of-age album ‘My Love Is Cool’ went down as classics.

From alternative rock to superstar DJs, Saturday night headliners The Chemical Brothers offered an equally brilliant and memorable headline performance. One for the pleasure-seekers and the late night ravers. Hearing the iconic wail of ‘Hey Boy, Hey Girl’ felt like coming home.

Of course, no return to festival season would feel complete without a set from veterans Rudimental. An indication that nature is healing. Life is back on track. Inhibitions were lost as ‘Free’ took on a new meaning when DJ Locksmith inspired everyone in the crowd to get on someone’s shoulders.

Latitude also gave us the chance to watch debut sets from future festival headliners Holly Humberstone, Sorry and Lola Young.

Performing to a packed out crowd on the BBC Sounds Stage, Holly Humberstone‘s understated presence proved she is one to watch. No band, no gimmicks, no fast-fashion. An authentic artist with emotional stories to share. Holly’s relatable songs translated beautifully live as she transitioned between guitars and keyboard.

Over on the smaller Sunrise stage, tucked away in a beautiful corner of the forest, Lola Young’s powerful vocals carried far. Drawing in new fans and keeping the crowd entertained with her humble sensibility, Lola delivered a set filled with emotional impact.

Holly Humberstone. Credit: Festival Republic

Newcomers Wet Leg were all the hype. Wet Leg are a band to watch out for on every 2022 list. Don’t be put off by the name. I assumed: “oh, another indie band trying to be original.” No. Wet Leg is Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers, two guitar-playing girls from The Isle of Wight with a penchant for sharp-witted lyrics and French disco. Packing out The Alcove with fans queuing to get in, Wet Leg’s intimate performance became a real “I was there” moment to look back on in years to come.

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Wet Leg – Chaise Lounge

Standout early performances on the Main Stage came from breakthrough acts Kawala, Griff and Maisie Peters. With his effortless swagger and charming energy, Kawala front-man Jim Higson is indie music’s next biggest heart-throb. The sun came out for BRIT Award-Winner ‘Rising Star’ Griff, who sailed through her performance and proved herself as the next UK pop act set for superstardom.

The comeback is always greater than the setback. Festival season has returned and it truly tastes better than ever. Latitude Festival celebrated the return of freedom with a cinematic weekend filled with delicious things.

Tickets for Latitude Festival 2022 are on sale now!